a compliment a day

a compliment a day, keeps the doctor away.

and sadness.

and fear.

and doubt.

a compliment a day brings lasting joy into your life and to the lives of those you are complimenting.

i’ve always been one to apply and share actionable tools for a joyful life, and this weeks thoughtful thursday topic is one of those tools.

think about the last time someone gave you a compliment.

maybe they praised you for your hard work or success.

maybe they thanked you for being kind, friendly or thoughtful.

how did it make you feel?

i can almost guarantee it didn’t upset you. i doubt it annoyed you.

i would bet my last dollar that it made you at least crack a smile.

maybe that compliment caught you off guard and even made you blush.

now, think of the last time you gave a compliment to someone.

where they upset or annoyed at your speaking to them?

no. the answer is a BIG FAT NO.

research shows that receiving a compliment, triggers the same reward centers of the brain, the ventral striatum and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex, that light up during sex. it leaves you wanting more from the resultant mini-high. thanks dopamine!

this type of emotion, being praised or recognized, is connected to people striving to do more of what brings their praise.

a compliment addresses the basic human need for recognition. a compliment tells someone; i see you, i value you, i appreciate you and you are worthy of being seen. a compliment is a powerful gift and not only delivers positive effects to others, but that positivity almost always bounces back on us, exploding the positive atmosphere we live in.

compliments can often change a persons entire outlook on a single day, sometimes a week or even a month. because compliments make the world a better place, everyone needs to be complimenting those they come in contact with everyday.

luckily, you don’t have to be an expert at giving a compliment, you just have to be genuine. a compliment is best received when it is sincere, given freely and un-rehersed.

did you know that giving a compliment helps you feel happier and can even improve your health? when we do something kind, our brain releases oxytocin, that makes us feel really good.

as part of my daily joyful practices, i’ve made it a habit to give at least one stranger a compliment everyday. most days it’s easy to give as many as 5 people compliments. talking to a stranger is easier than it sounds. we talk to strangers everyday at the grocery store or post office, during carpool pick up or while we’re in the office. we talk to strangers on busses and at airports or in passing on the street. what if we spent 10 seconds of our conversations with these strangers to give them a genuine and heartfelt compliment.

“thank you for your help today”

“you should be proud of yourself”

“you are strong”

“i’m inspired by your courage”

“you make me feel more joy in my life”

“you’ve got great ideas”

some of the examples above are genuine and direct compliments. it’s often easier to point out someones hair, clothes or physical features, and these compliments can bring a sense of happiness for sure. however, a compliment with more depth, meaning and sincerity are directly linked to lasting feelings of joy and a sense of pride.

like wise, it’s important to be a good receiver of a compliment. most of us long to be well-thought-of, but sometimes our personal issues make it difficult to accept praise. issues like low self-esteem, perfectionism or truly believing we don’t deserve praise, can cripple our ability to receive compliments.

so, what can you do to be a good compliment receiver? the obvious answers are to smile and say thank you. sometimes, it’s appropriate to not compliment in return. allow the giver to give sincere praises and make it about you. never ever, ever, deny or downplay a compliment. this discrediting of the givers judgment will come off as rude and not as simply being modest.

giving and receiving compliments as part of our daily routines is beneficial and a necessary part of creating more joy in our world.

i challenge you, for the next week, to give at least one sincere and thoughtful compliment to a stranger, every single day. notice the change in your own life and the joy you feel as you increase the level of positivity in the world around you. notice how it transforms your feelings towards the people in your life and folks you cross paths with each day.

write in your journal what impact you felt from your daily compliment. share how the recipient responded and how it impacted your day.



post in review:

  1. action: give one (or more) stranger a sincere and thoughtful compliment every day.
  2. thought: compliments are directly linked to lasting joy, feelings of pride and desire to strive for more of what brings praise. compliments flood our surroundings with positivity.
  3. write: 1) what impact if you feel from giving a compliment today 2) how did the recipient respond

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